I am currently at a real loss of where to try and get the grass carp point for the challenge from. The only venue I fish that contains them is Snitterfeild reservoir and like any other Leamington members know there is a very small number of these fish in a rather decent size lake. So with this tiny number of grassies in a large lake the chances of putting forty odd pounds of fish on the bank seems almost impossible. The only saving grace is that when the weather hots up they begin to move round on the surface. Conveniently they make a much different bow wave to the king carp varieties which also inhabit this lake, probably due to there longer flatter profile.
I had been waiting for what seems like weeks for a bit of warm sunny weather to get down to Snit for a crack at them and whilst waiting I had stored up enough dog biscuits to feed battersea dogs home for at least one day.
Sunday the weather looked great but I was in no rush as the morning was cool and misty. By 10am the sun was out and I was on the bank with three 5 litre buckets of pellets and dog kibbles ready to go. The only draw back was that the work party were at snit clearing the banks. I won't moan about them as they do a vital job for the club of keeping our many banks fishable, of which I am very grateful for and probably should give them a bit of my free time as I become more attached to the club. But sadly the throbbing of the two stroke strimmers engine was doing little for the fishing on Sunday morning and I did not see a single fish on the top till they finished for the day.
Putting my plan into action I set up one rod with a bottom bait and cast it over a bed of pellets. Then began my grand plan to use a zig rig with one of the new zig floats to get my bait within a few feet of the surface and regularly fire mixers over the top to attract the hoards of ducks which would hopefully in turn attract the patrolling carp. Problem was that I could not get my zig rig to work at all. Every time it was cast into the very deep water half way across the lake the rig tangled or never came up. After ten casts and four modifications I had little choice but to give up and go over to a surface controller and run the avian gauntlet.
With all the crappy weather we have had it was a proper task to get any carp at all on the top and feeding. But after three hours of persistence I began to see some good swirls and the occasional lips. But every time a fish came up they would take two out of ten freebies then sink back to the depths. The wind was no help ether as it blew in ever changing directions on and off for the whole session.
With nothing more than a 1lb skimmer who'd taken a shining to my 20mm boilie to show for the four hours of fishing I was getting despondent. Until I noticed three definite grass carp moving far off to my left. After one almighty hoyk of a cast I managed to drop my bait right in front of them. I thought I was in when one immediately came to investigate. Instigate it did, take the bait it did not. This went on for a good hour as I went through every possible floating bait I had at my disposal. The wind was getting up and causing a ripple that prevented me from seeing my controller at distance, so I never saw the bait go, but Soon enough I got the message as the line zipped tight and the rod buckled over. With line ripping of the reel as the fish tore off I was convinced I had finally nailed one. This fish had some real power and at one point I got that feeling I haven't felt in years, the one that makes you think this rod ain't gonna take this. But it did and after a while I got a glimpse of a golden flank in the water. I tried not to curse to loud as a common carp slipped into the net. My disappointment only lasted for a minute before the joy of landing what I will say it the most powerful pound for pound carp I have ever caught in my life came over me. To say it was mint would be the understatement of the year as it was fin perfect with not a single mark in it's mouth.
After this the ducks became rather aware of where my bait was landing and every time it hit the water they quite literally took off and landed to try and get the bait. With time ticking till I had to pick up Jacky the grassies would have to wait till another day.